The ability to navigate the present requires an accurate assessment of where we are today, to determine what we may need in order to course correct. Vaccines have helped us get better control over COVID-19 and the impact it has had on our lives and our livelihoods, but we are not entirely out of the woods yet. Vaccines are the safest way to achieving herd immunity and they continue to be widely available throughout our region: local pharmacies, your doctor’s office (including Axis Health System clinics) and our public health departments. If you haven’t been vaccinated and have concerns, consider consulting with your family physician to get answers to your questions.
The path forward out of this will not be a straight line. As vaccines create better physical safety from the virus, they allow us to turn our attention and resources to the next wave of this pandemic, which is the associated behavioral health fall-out from COVID-19. Anxiety, depression and substance use or misuse are on the rise across the nation (and here in our communities) as we begin to fully reckon with what we have collectively lived through and make sense of where we are currently at in the recovery process (social, health and economic).
You may not be aware that there are a variety of resources available to provide some support, connection and/or access to care. While there is no “one size fits all” for reaching out for help, knowing about some of the available resources can be an important first step. A few helpful resources are noted below:
- Axis 24/7 Care Line | 970.247.5245 | 24-hour crisis help, response and resource coordination
- Colorado Spirit Crisis Counseling Program | 970.828.6004 | education, resiliency, coping skills
- Colorado Crisis Hotline | 844.493.TALK (8255)| crisis help, information and referrals
- Colorado Agricultural Addiction and Mental Health Program | https://www.campforhealth.org/ | anonymous, ag friendly behavioral health support
- Recognizing Opportunities Around Resilience (ROAR) | http://tinyurl.com/ROARLaPlata | youth program for La Plata County kids ages 12-15
- La Plata Youth Services | support and advocacy for youth facing challenges in school, home or court http://www.lpys.org/
- 4 the Children | support and advocacy for children and their families to prevent child abuse and neglect | http://4thechild.org/
- Team Up | youth mental health voucher program | https://www.axishealthsystem.org/news/axis-partners-with-team-up-to-help-dolores-youth/
- Four Corners Rainbow Youth Center | supporting LGBTQ+ youth in La Plata County: http://www.rainbowyouthcenter.org/
- Southwest Rainbow Youth Center | supporting LGBTQ+ youth in Montezuma County: https://www.ignaciooutandequal.org/southwest-rainbow-youth
- The Hive DGO| youth programs and activities | https://www.thehivedgo.org
- Oak Tree Resources | helping young people meet their basic needs (food, shelter) and supports their success https://oaktreeresources.org/)
- Young People as Leaders Virtual Group | youth program offered by Southwest Center for Independence | firstname.lastname@example.org
- Boys & Girls Club of La Plata County | https://bgclaplata.org/ | healthy living and skill building for youth
- Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Colorado | https://www.bbbs.org/ | mentoring program for children and adolescents
This list is not exhaustive, but it is intended to be a reminder of some of the amazing programs and organizations in our communities that provide valuable resources and can make a difference.
It is important to maintain an unbiased view of where we are and how we can make our way forward. As we close in on improved and sustainable physical health safety from the pandemic, our navigational direction needs to expand to include acknowledging and seeking appropriate support and/or care for the many other unique needs each of us may have.
Stay healthy…stay well…stay safe.
Axis Health System Chief Executive Officer
P.S. As always, if you or someone in your circle is struggling, please call the Axis 24/7 Care Line at 970.247.5245 to speak to a professional 24hrs a day/7 days a week. We are here to help.